tv Martin Bashir MSNBC November 23, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
to fail. >> anything but one big happy family at this republican table. plus, the president has a message for congress. >> we can't wait to pardon these turke turkeys. >> we begin with the republican party exposing deep fault lines on national security at a debate that presented something of an eye denty crisis. the eight republican candidates who took the stage in washington last night differed on a rark of issues, including the war in afghanistan and aid to pakistan and cuts in defense spending. but it was brand new front-runner newt gingrich and the issue of immigration that grabbed the biggest headlines. as the former speaker called for a humane approach to immigration policy. >> i don't see how -- the party that says it's the party of the family is going to do that an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century and i'm
prepared to take the heat for saying, let's be humane and enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality. >> that answer recalled rick perry at a september debate when he said republicans who oppose in state tuition for the children of illegal ill grants don't have a heart. the poll numbers plunged in the following days and have never recovered. but right now, newt gingrich sits right up top. going boo the debate, he was the leader of the pack, supported by 24% of republicans to mitt romney's 20%. and that front runner status made him the target for much of the debate including a testy exchange with ron paul over the patriot act. >> i think the patriot act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. i'm concerned as everybody is about the terrorist attack. timothy mcveigh was a vicious terrorist. he was arrested.
>> timothy mcveigh succeeded. that's the whole point. timothy mcveigh killed a lot of americans. i don't want a law that says after we lose a major american city, we're sure going to come and find you. i want a law that says, you try to take out an american city, we're going to stop you. >> much more sniping followed but perhaps the biggest identity confusion concerned the very names of the cariharacters on stage. >> i'll mitt romney and that's my first name. >> no, blitz, that's oversimplifying it. i meant wolf. blitz, wolf. since we're on a blitz debate, i apologize. wolf. >> the moderatedor was of course, wolf blitzer but more interestingly, mitt romney's full name is willard mitt romney. for more on all this, let's bring in our panel. joining us from washington, mark
ginsburg is a former u.s. ambassador to morocco, a former white house middle east adviser to president carter. and karen finney is an msnbc political analyst and former dnc communications director. now, karen, we'll get to the name game in a minute. let's start with newt gingrich on immigration. did he put himself in the conservative dog house defending long material undocumented workers? we saw how well that worked for rick perry. >> yeah. but newt gingrich is crazy like a fofl. i think it was a politically calculated move. it gives him an opportunity to move more to the center. this is clearly a play for a general election issue. knowing that the latino vote will be very important. it moves hill to the center a little on an issue where mitt romney is trying to be more to the right. and remember, newt gingrich has plenty of other crazy that he talks about when he talks about things like, little children
scrub toilets and telling peel to go take a bath. i have to say that was part of, though, why i think again we need to be very suspicious of newt. he is a little like a sociopath. on the one hand, he is talking about high schoumanity and the compassion. and he is saying little kids should go scrub toilets so they get work experience. >> this is not a litmus issue for conservatives and republican primary voters, that if you're on the wrong side, you're not acceptable? >> it may be. i think what newt is trying to do here, i think he perceives that he is conservative enough on at least the economic issues, that he can take a little bit of a risk on the immigration issues. remember, part of the goal here is the argument that romney continues to make is the electability. now, gingrich can cut into that by saying, look, i can get the latino vote.
so my guess is it was a little more of a calculated risk that he was taking there. >> well, child labor. that's a winning issue. ambassador, one of the strongest exchanges took place between mitt romney and jon huntsman who was unusually wound up about afghanistan. let's listen. >> are you suggesting, governor, that we take all our troops out next week? >> did you hear what i just said? i said we should draw down from 100,000. we don't need 100,000 troops. many of whom cannot even cross the wire. we need a presence on the ground that is more akin to 10,000 or 15,000. >> romney said we should listen to the generals on the ground. does huntsman have an opening here? can he tap into frustration with this lengthy more than ten-year engagement in afghanistan? >> well, gene, first of all the president has made it clear that he has to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of american troops from afghanistan. so this debate almost becomes nothing but a pure academic exercise.
that very debate happened in the white house when the president in effect made a commitment to stay in afghanistan and vice president biden was in favor of more of a counter terrorism strategy rather than a kounler insurgency strategy. that's now academic. watching them debate an issue that is no longer important or relevant to the fate of american troops in afghanistan misses the entire point. that is, they're trying to basically score brownie points against a president who has already established a timetable with the support of his generals to begin a quick withdrawal from afghanistan. >> karen, mitt romney earlier today got an important endorsement. senator john thune. this is another establishment figure in romney's cap. but, are we going to see -- i'm not kidding here. are we going to see that my name is mitt line come back to haunt him in any way? willard mitt romney?
not that it's important but the whole rap on romney has been identity and authenticity and here you have it. >> absolutely. i think that's part of why he is trying to shore up as many of those institutional players as he can. again, his argument is electability. he wants to be able to show i've got the institutional players behind me. i can make the best argument against president obama. and frankly, too, what ambassador ginsberg was talking about with regard to afghanistan, that's a place where mitt is trying to tack to the right a little bit. we have not heard this rhetoric about cut and run cynic 2006, 2007. it doesn't even work with some republicans anymore. clearly he's trying to be a little of all things to all people. some might say that goes into the, fuels the argument that maybe he is a little bit of a flip-flopper. but again, it's part of this establishment argument he's trying to make. >> ambassador ginsberg, you have to hand to it michele bachmann. she gave a fairly strong
performance last night. at least i thought so. there was a critique of rick perry who said we ought to cut all aid to pakistan. let's take a look. >> the obama policy of keeping your fingers crossed is not working in pakistan. and i also think that pakistan is a nation that is kind of like too nuclear to fail. so we've got to make sure that we take that threat very seriously. >> she also called perry highly naive. did she score any points with this? >> is it a bad cliche to use the old maxim that she was the one-eyed queen in the land of the blind? the fact of the matter is that, look, we know every american knows that we're caught between a rock and a hard place. and pakistan, the most dangerous country in the world. as long as there are american troops are fighting to withdraw from afghanistan and preserve at
least the security in an area that still has significant al qaeda presence on the pakistan side of the border, we're paying a certain am of ransom to have some leverage over that government. the idea that rick perry can claim it's time to cut and run out of pakistan basically begs the issue, gene, which is in if he can, what do you do about the fact that pakistan with a nuclear arsenal is going to continue to avoid taking responsibility to support american goals and objectives if we completely pull out and completely remove all our foreign assistance. it may sound very appealing to the fringe elements of the tea party but it's not very good commander-in-chief foreign policy. >> in this case, michele bachmann was right. too nuclear to fail. thank you so much for joining us. and both of you, have a great holiday. >> same to you. coming up, a warm thanksgiving welcome home. not if you're a member of
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so when you and yours are gathered around the table tomorrow giving thanks for our manifold blessings, we dare you to utter the word congress. approval of congress is at an historic low of 9%. so when lawmakers head hole from the holidays, they may hear a lot more than pass the stuffing from their constituents. when you add the failure of the super committee to establish anything on tackling the debt
crisis, it is a wonder just who that 9% might be. senator john kerry and democrats have blamed a blind allegiance to grover norquist. today he fired back. >> some of them have decided to blame me which is silly except that it's true that i guess i'm a focal point and i've certainly highlighted who has taken the pledge, who has made the commitment not to raise taxes and who is for raising taxes. as a result, they've been electing peel who take the pledge. >> congresswoman sheila jackson lee is a democrat from texas and she is kind enough to join us live from houston. congresswoman, welcome and thank you so much for being here today. isn't it a bit easy to blame grover norquist when in fact democrats had control of congress and the white house for two years. they failed to address the economy, failed to pass a budget, and opted instead to do
health care reform which was important, but nonetheless, put us behind the eight ball on the budget situation. >> well, let me first of all say happy thanksgiving to you and i'm certainly going to try to make as many of my constituents happy and happy thanks taz to your viewers. you know that i have been working on the penn state. i want to say this one thing. what a horrible addition today with the cps and i look forward to introducing that legislation that i've announced about suspending federal funds. you make a very strong point and i have a strong rebuttal to the point regarding democrats. democrats came in on the backs of the collapse of the financial markets during the bush administration. we unwillingly, if you will, conceded that banks had to be bailed out. the housing collapse had already started. and we went immediately to work to try to create jobs. part of the premise of the affordable care act was to bring down the cost of medical care,
to close the doughnut hole in medicare part d, which is the most expensive, if you will, boondoggle from the government that has ever occurred. we tried to end that. we worked toward the end on the stimulus package to stop the bleeding. we were trying to form and did form out of the house an effective energy policy, an energy legislation that would have given guidelines the green energy. so we were about the business of creating jobs. we are suffering from two wars unpaid for, from the siphoning off of the half a trillion dollars in surplus that was left by the clinton administration. and by the continuation of the bush tax cuts. grover norquist knows that those who adhere to his policies are part of the united states of norquist. they signed a pledge. democrats did not sign a pledge to not find revenue. and they did not ignore the real issues of what we're dealing
with which is poverty, higher than it's ever been in 17 years. 190,000 in my own district. that is absolutely right. certainly the economy was in a terrible shape when democrats came in. it was an emergency situation. should the president have done more? was there anything more he could have done to step in and work with the super committee to make sure they came out with some genuine solutions and not solutions that would help only the wealthy in this country. or only deal with the debt but that might make this a more equitable society. >> you know, i know of your great history and balance and sensitivity to the questions of even with our beliefs, our progressive beliefs. we believe in together. i think the president certainly believes in that as well. this super committee, and i have great respect for those who were called to duty, was part of the hostage taking that took place during the summer to raise the
debt ceiling. another one of those hostage provisions was a balanced budget amendment which does not work for the federal government. i think the president's position was to let congress work its will. and frankly, it would have worked its will had there not been six members who simply could not find revenue. the very same instructions that was given not by the president, by the american people. 64% said get to work and find revenue enhancers. and find ways to tighten your belt. and democrats were prepared to tighten the belt. we could not get republicans to budge for allowing the bush tax cuts to expire. as much as they know the president has not raised taxes on any american since he's come in, they could not even start there. and they decided to give corporate america, which has $1.1 trillion cash on hand. they decided to reduce their corporate rates from 35 to 28. they were not serious. i want to tell the american
peel, have a happy thanksgiving. this is not the end of the world. the predictions of america's demise because of the failure of the super committee or the lack of success is premature. congress needs to get to work and quinn to look methodeckly of how we can cut, how we can keep the pay roll tax relief that is now in place that's about to expire and how we can find revenue. congress needs to do that. and not a super committee that was a product of hostage taking, simply to allow individuals, this country to pay her bills. that's why i hope the american people have a good thanksgiving. come back ready for us next week to say do your job. pass the jobs bill. give us pay roll tax relief and certainly, acknowledge the fact that the bush tax cuts on the top 1% can generate billions of dollars. and to ask -- >> congresswoman? >> the very successful
corporations. >> congresswoman? >> with $1.12 trillion cash on hand to contribute to the american economy. >> thank you so much. we so appreciate your being here. thank you and we'll welcome you back after the holiday. happy thanksgiving. coming up, capitol hill is all quiet for the moment. actually, that may be something to be thankful for. he's partnered with lab equipment science. in his kitchen you'll find an anti-griddle to freeze dishes like basil puree and liquid nitrogen. ♪
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president obama today pardoned the traditional thanksgiving day turkey but there will be no such compassion for turkeys in congress if they continue to bicker while the country crumbles under unemployment, debt and gridlock. on a visit to new hampshire monday, the president made it clear, he expects a new attitude when congress gets back from the holiday break. >> if your members of congress aren't delivering, you have to accepted a message.
make sure they're listening. tell them don't be a grinch. don't vote to raise taxes on working americans during the holidays. put the country before party. >> nbc's luke russert is live in washington. thanks for joining us, luke. happy thanksgiving. >> right back at you, gene. >> will there be any appetite for taking another whack at some sort of overall deal, maybe using simpson boles as a rt at aing point? will they want to get back into this? >> there will be as much appetite for that as you have for your mother-in-law's overcooked dry turkey. look. this super committee failure has really punted the issue of deficit reduction to the election. there is no real framework which they can really work on. now, some members of the super committee said they can take all the work that we've done and programs come up with an idea for tax reform. something of that nature.
but some idea that congress is suddenly going to figure out a way to get a deficit reduction plan in action that is taking this serious from both sides doesn't look very promising. the republicans of the super committee did not want to move away from the bush tax cuts. they want to keep those even though they added $3.8 trillion. democrats do not want to see any drastic changes to medicare unless there were some new taxes. but medicare as it is, the if you saiding runs out in 2024. they don't really want to attack that. after the victory then and the congressional district in buffalo, one of the main slogans out of the house democratic caulk us is save herring, vote democratic. so both sides are happy to run on this issue and not figure it out until the earliest, 2013 and even then that will be quite difficult. >> so they'll be happy to play the cards they got until the election. luke, you follow this stuff all year. and what a year it's been. in the world of politics as we approach thanksgiving, what are
you thankful for? >> that's -- this has been quite the congress to cover after the debt limit, i don't think anyone in d.c. is really thankful for anything. i will say two things. one that we're still standing, that i'm also still thankful for the work performer government accountability office david walker does about the debt. talking about how both sides don't really have a plan for it. so david walker, i'm thankful for his work heading into the holiday. >> nbc's luke russert and happy thanksgiving. ? take care. thank you. coming up, planes, trains, and ables. i'd race down that hill without a helmet. i took some steep risks in my teens. i'd never ride without one now. and since my doctor prescribed lipitor, i won't go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough. now i'm eating healthier, exercising more, taking lipitor.
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>> some of you may know that recently, i've been taking a series of executive actions that don't require congressional approval. well, here's another one. we can't wait to pardon these turkeys. >> no, blitz, that's oversimplifying it. >> i don't see -- the party that says it's the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys policies that have been here a quarter of a century and i'm prepared to take the heat for saying, let's be humane. >> he has the distinction of being the luckiest bird on the face of the earth. right now, he's also probably one of the most confused. >> i'm mitt romney. and yes, wolf, that's also my first name. >> you know, thankfully we're in a good position still fiscally speaking. >> today we have a president who can't lead. we have a congress that can't even figure out how to balance
our budget. >> if your members of congress aren't delivering, you have to send a message. tell them don't be a grinch. >> i was on my way home to spend a nice holiday with my family. instead i'm in a motel bed with a stranger. >> tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an american. but it's also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey. >> not a lot of great days of the year to be a turkey but let's get to our panel. melissa harris perry is a professor of political science at tulane as well as an msnbc contributor. and ezra klein is a columnist for the "washington post" and an msnbc panelist. let me start with you. newt gingrich, humanitarian activist for long-term undocumented american illegal aliens? is this a new role for him? really a humanitarian and humane
position that he's taken or just for creation of a new class of guest boringers? >> it was but not of my favorite moments of the debate last night. the game i like to play with myself is imagine the general election debate. president obama against -- and then whoever the current front-runner is. i thought, well, this would lead to an interesting conversation between president obama and former speaker gingrich about immigration policy. this would be an actual debate. there might be something here other than just ideological sound bites and polling to the edges. that said, the red card program sort of prevented, presented as a humanitarian program that would keep families together is still a deeply distressing point. it includes a micro chipped red card that noncitizens guest workers would have. it would create a two-tier system and of course these guest
workers would be bringing their labor. they would be bringing their contributions, potentially even their tax dollars to the u.s. but they would be clearly as a result of their red card, shut out of all of the benefits of kind of first class citizenship. the red card would be the modern day scarlet letter. they would carry this at all times. and as you know, the right leaning business community is in many instances in favor of this sort of illegal immigration, or immigration of boringers. that's their chief labor force. >> alabama is facing an agricultural crisis as a result of undocumented worker in the state leaving because alabama has implemented these truly aggressive anti-immigration policies. so aggressive that they're pigging up mercedes-benz executives. so alabama is actually seeing the inability to get their agricultural work done in part because these undocumented workers are leaving the state.
>> let's talk politics for a second. so newt gingrich is leading the polls now. frankly, that is a sentence i never thought i would pronounce in my life. >> for those of houston do political commentary, political television, thanksgiving for newt gingrich. we're grateful to him. >> yes, we are. so a lot of people expect and i confess i'm one of them. he is on a wave. he is going to be up, down, like the others. who knows if he will or not. what do you think? is this ephemeral? and if it is, then does that mean mitt romney has been inevitable all along? he is the one we've loved all along? >> does the word hindenberg mean anything to you? >> i don't see the gingrich bubble lasting long. although i've been surprised before. what is fascinating with the perry, cain, gingrich bubbles, mitt romney does not benefit from any of them. when they collapse, he does not get a voter. he has remained between like 20%
and 26% through the entire election. and he has never gone up and he has never fallen very far down. that made me wonder. my downer intuitive thought of the week, i wonder if mitt romney isn't the one in some ways who has peaked too early. nobody has ever laid a glove on him. he's never had a bad stumble in the debate. you know, nobody ever runs a perfectly flawless campaign. if he doesn't get into first place, despite that we all think as the front runner, he is not in first place. if he has a stumble in the wrong week. the week before iowa, gingrich, bachmann actually takes the caucus. i don't think romney is likely to lose the nomination but i don't think he is as inevitable as he once did. he cannot seem to get over 25% in the polls. >> i agree with you. i'm not sure that it, that he is that inevitable. and he may well have peaked too early. we'll see. melissa harris perry. you stay with us for a minute.
we'll take a break. coming up, is there anything to be thankful for when it come to american politics? >> i'm thankful that they're still there. and maybe we can fix it one day. i don't know. the system hasn't completely cracked, right? [ male announcer ] all over the world, there's a battery that's relied on to help bring children holiday joy, and while it doesn't travel by sleigh or reindeer, it does get around... in fact, every year duracell sends loads of batteries to the mattel children's hospital, u.c.l.a. of course, children here and everywhere don't really think about which battery makes their toy run... but, still... you'd never want to disappoint. duracell. trusted everywhere. let's do it, let's go to vegas.
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people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing, take the lead. ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. i'm thankful for our founding fathers. >> emigrateful for democracy. >> i'm grateful for barack obama. he is a wonderful, honorable man and a wonderful president. >> i'm thankful that there is a change that is seen and that is going to be corrected in a matter of time. >> i really don't have any faith in any of them, quite honestly. i don't think there is any politicians that i actually
trust or that i'm thankful for. >> i'm thankful for the fact that i can vote. besides that, i would not say that there is anything. people need to look at the big picture and try to get something done for our country. >> that was a brief sampling here in new york. we are asking, what you thankful for in american politics? and we want to get answers to that question and more from our guest. back now with ezra klein. melissa harris perry. let me start with ezra so we can have the professor. ezra, what are you thankful for? >> two things. negative real interest rates. we can borrow for less than nothing when inflation is taken into know. that means we have a lot of space to work on jobs and infrastructure. and congressional staff themselves work in a dysfunctional pretty much terrible institution but they're largely the best thing about it. if congress does get anything done over the next year, it will be because they figure out a creative way to get there. >> two big ifs. number one, the very, very low interest rates. that's terrific. but that's like all the money
you save when you go spend money at a sale. >> no, no. >> you have kind of spent the money. >> no but we -- yes, but if you had an invest many that was even a 0% return, that's a good invest many. a good thing. >> absolutely. and congressional staff, i couldn't agree with you more. these people labor night and day under very difficult circumstances. for very difficult members, frankly. >> two things to be thankful for. what are you thankful for in american politics in. >> nath to that answer, i just love ezra's answer. i abhor notes tstalgia politica. there is never a moment structurally when it is better to have been black and a woman. no matter how bad things are, was it better in 1872? how about 1912? like no, there's never any point. so i'm always pleased about
whatever halting progress we make toward social economic and political equality. and this moment is nearly always better than every previous moment. but beyond that, look. i'm happy that as troops begin to come home, from our international wars, they will not be replaced at least at this moment with other american troops. i am excited by the possibilities inherent in the occupy wall street movements and the occupy movements around the country. i am excited about the inherent possibilities in recall movement that's move toward greater questions of social justice. and ultimately, i am pretty excited about the fact that michele bachmann, herald cain, newt gingrich are still running for president. because it means that there will be a great deal of interesting stuff to talk about going into the next six weeks. >> yes. interesting is a good way to describe it. crazy maybe but interesting. i'm going to broaden it a little bit. beyond american shores. what is happening in the world
is very interesting. not all of it directly to be thankful for. the european monetary crisis, for example. i have a feeling we won't be thankful for that by the end of the day. but the arab spring, the sort of awakening of democracy, democratic sentiment throughout the arab world and the muslim world. i think is one of the most exciting geo political developments we've seen in a long time. >> and i think the thing to add to that, when the story of this period is over, it will be about china and other countries lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty. they have not come into a hard landing. they have not crashed and that's the greatest poverty success story in human history. >> thank you so much for joining us. have a happy and healthy thanksgiving. >> and to you. coming up, more unrest in egypt. we'll have a live report from tahrir square. ♪ [ electronic beeping ] [ male announcer ] still getting dandruff?
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the campus at penn state university might be quiet these days for the holiday. but the scandal that has shaken the campus to its core is still very much alive. the harrisburg patriot news is reporting that two new investigations of child abuse involving former pep state stand coach jerry sandusky are underway. meanwhile, all four judges based in penn state's home county have recused themselves from the child sex abuse trial in order to avoid the appearance of the could not fligt of interest. for more, i'll joined by peter companioner in state college, pennsylvania. thank you for joining us. >> reporter: to you as well, happy thanksgiving. a lot of new headlines as we head into the holidays. the campus is empty. we're looking for new details about the two new child sexual abuse allegations against jerry sandusky. first reported by the local
newspap newspaper, first reported by the paper. we're hearing from the attorney for jerry sandusky who says that he believes one of the accusations was made by a member of jerry sandusky's own family. he says there are difficulties within the immediate family there. he would not say specifically who this related to. he denies all the allegations in this case. he says this allegation dates back to before sandusky was arrested but it was only brought to authorities after he was charged within the last couple of week. >> yes. and peter, i recall from the original grand jury document there that there were allegations that boys would stay over in the sandusky house. that perhaps molestation allegedly had occurred there of boys involved with the second mile tragedy. we hear that all the judges in the county have essentially recused themselves because of the perception that they might
be too close to it. they might have a conflict. is this some sort of first step toward moving essentially the whole case outside of this very tight-knit small community where penn state is such an important dominant institution? >> reporter: i think some peel might say that's the case. already we know this judge that we'll be seeing, overseeing the jerry sandusky case is from out of the county. even as we speak, there is a lot of frustration even among the news media. they are pushing to try to elittle night the exemption of the open records law here. basically, the media wants access to penn state's documents, including the police report from a 2002 incident where we are told at least by mike mccreary, the former member of the tale, a graduate assistant, that he filed a report. that he went to police if that information was out there. the media and frankly the entire community is hoping to see exactly what was said at that time and what anybody knew. >> nbc's peter alexander. thank you so much. you've done fabulous work on this story that i'm afraid
probably has not even neared its end. thank you very much. >> reporter: happy holiday. now to egypt where protests have moved into their fifth day tension mounting on the streets egyptian troops have taken the place of armed riot police in hoping -- in hopes of cooling some of the violence. reports are saying that more than 30 protesters have been killed. thousands more potentially injured in the violence. for the latest we're now joined by nbc's iman muldene in cairo. what's the scene like on the ground at this hour? replacing police with troops seemed to calm things down a little bit. how have the people responded? >> reporter: well, eugene, can you probably hear the noise behind me. several thousand strong still remain, as you mentioned, for the fifth date straight. now the egyptian military, effectively running the country, really finds itself in a crisis mode for two reasons. on the one hand trying to
contain this particular situation, and that really has to do the with the clashes and fighting taking place not too far away from where we are. at that particular juncture there were clashes between the riot police and the protesters who wanted to attack the ministry of interior. now, the military has tried to calm the situation down. they have sent in some senior religions figures from one of the more revered institutions here to try to calm the situation that. has not succeeded throughout the course of today. on the other hand, they are trying to deal with the political crisis that has emerged. as i was saying, several thousand people behind me, no indication that they are going to be leaving the square any time soon. >> amman, is there any chance that the military might acreed to the demands which is they simply depart, now, and that is turn over the reins to civilians? is that even a remote possibility. >> reporter: it really comes down to a battle of wills right
now because the egyptian military yesterday, headed by the supreme court council of the armed forces and the head of that addressed the nation saying he would be willing to relinquish power, the military would be willing to relinquish power so long as there was a referendum. now, keep in mind, just a few days away from parliamentary elections. that is unlikely to take place within the next week, and more importantly the military has said that after these parliamentary elections, they are going to retain some powers that are exclusively to them, and that's really what has fueled these protests. now, as a concession, what has emerged is that the military said it would hold presidential elections by june of 2012, and now they are in the process of forming a national salvation government or an emergency government, and that really depends on who they put in these key positions. >> amman, thank you very much. please stay safe. we'll be right back. hi, could you read my list?
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as the country gets ready to celebrate the thanksgiving holiday, washington, too, is taking a bit of time to give thanks, but while the president enjoys this fall season, deep down he knows the holiday has to be short lived. there's a lot of work to do on the struggling economy. with more from the white house, we're joined now by nbc's mike viqueira. mike, thanks for joining us today. >> reporter: okay, eugene. >> mike, washington, like the rest of the country is taking a break this week, but looking beyond that, what can we expect from the president and -- in the coming days and weeks? >> well, in the coming days and weeks you can look from here to christmas, actually, jobs and taxes. that's the theme that the president can continue to strike, eugene.
ever since he made the joint speech to congress after labor day the white house is getting traction politically and policy-wise with a republican congress. the president is going to continue hammering on that theme, trying to break it out of its component parts. you know, we can't wait mem that they have originated here at the white house, they feel that has gotten marginal impact. next week they will head to scranton, joe biden's hometown and the key theme that the president will be talking about a lot section tending the payroll tax cut, due to expire at the end of the year. of course, that fight already shaping up in the wake of the super committee failure, eugene. >> mike, the payroll tax cut is one thing that, of course, the president and republicans would have to agree on to get done. >> right. >> the rest of it with his executive orders and his speeches around the country that aren't political but really are political, that's -- that seems to be frankly more aimed at 2012. >> well, certainly, and one only
has to look at where the president is delivering the bulk of the speeches. mentioned the fact that he's going to pennsylvania. i don't know how many times the press corps has followed the president there on various initiatives. he doesn't go to a lot of red states. he hasn't been to texas too often over the course of the last two weeks so no coincidence there. >> it's a pure coincidence, mike. you're so cynical. >> mike, i think it's fair to ask, if -- if the president -- you know him well. you're there all the time. if the president could be thankful for one political thing this thanksgiving. what do you think he would be thankful for? >> i think the president would be thankful for the fact that this man is presiding over an economy of 9% unemployment, everybody from the fed on down says it's going to stay in the 80s at least through election day, anemic economic growth going to top out at like 2% next year, the fact that he can still take this thing with economic numbers like that, the president can be thankful for that.
18 blue states since '92. 18 blue since '29 led by the solid 55 in california that gives him a big head start when he faces his republican rival next year. he can be thankful for a democratic controlled senate that still is there to run interference, and more recently, eugene, he can be thankful for newt gingrich last night taking a thanksgiving carving knife to the republican party, opening the wounds on immigration and forcing mitt romney to take a stance far to the right of much of the field that was on the stage last night. >> very briefly, what are you thankful for? >> i'm very thankful that my family is healthy, including my mom who is recovering from a serious illness. thanks, eugene. >> we're thankful for that, too, mike, and happy thanksgiving. >> reporter: you, too. >> nbc's mike viqueira, thank you so very much. thank you all for watching this afternoon. if you're traveling home to see family, to see friends, i hope you have safe travels. hope you have a very happy thanksgiving. especially happy than